30 January 2015

Slavery Still Exists in These Countries

Slavery Still Exists
Slavery still exists today. Worse, an estimated 30 million people worldwide are living in modern-day slavery, according to the inaugural Global Slavery Index published on October 2013.

The index, compiled by the Walk Free Foundation (WFF), reported that India by far had the largest number of enslaved people and it is also prevalent in the West African nation of Mauritania, where four percent of the population was deemed to be held in slavery.

The WFF has pulled together the best available experts in the field, data from respected outside sources and their own analysis to compile the 162-country index. It hopes the annual index will help governments to monitor and tackle what it calls a "hidden crime."

Aside from Mauritania, countries with high prevalence of modern slavery are Haiti, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Moldova, Benin, Ivory Coast, Gambia, and Gabon. Moldova – once part of the Soviet Union – was the only European nation in the top 10.

The index describes Mauritania as a nation with "deeply entrenched hereditary slavery," while "people in slavery may be bought and sold, rented out, and given away as gifts."

WFF Chief Executive Nick Grono said the inherited slave status was "very shocking."

"In Mauritania, kids are born into slavery. Women and men are enslaved and their children are often forced into a situation of domestic servitude or forced to work in the fields,” he added.

Russia came at 49th, China at 84th, United States at 134th, France at 139th, and Britain joins the bottom at 160.

In terms of total numbers, the countries with the most people in modern slavery were estimated to be India (13.95 million), followed by China (2.95 million), and Pakistan (2.1 million).

The report estimated that 72 percent of people in modern slavery live in Asia.

In India, "by far the largest proportion of this problem is the exploitation of Indian citizens within India itself, particularly through debt bondage and bonded labor," the report said.

The estimated 2.9 million people in modern slavery in China "includes the forced labor of men, women, and children in many parts of the economy, including domestic servitude and forced begging, the sexual exploitation of women and children, and forced marriage," said the report.

Among the top 10, the WFF said Moldova and Ivory Coast were working hard to address the issue, but efforts in the top three – Mauritania, Haiti, and Pakistan – are "token at best and non-existent at worst," the report said.

Established in May last year, the WFF is a 20-strong team based in Perth on the Australian west coast, founded by philanthropists Andrew Forrest - the chairman of Fortescue Metals Group - and his wife Nicola.

It has the backing of former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton, Britain's ex-prime minister Tony Blair, current Australian PM Tony Abbott, and philanthropists Bill Gates, Richard Branson, and Mo Ibrahim.

The foundation's definition of modern slavery includes slavery itself, plus slavery-like practices – such as debt bondage, forced marriage, and the sale or exploitation of children – human trafficking, and forced labor.

"A lot of people are very surprised to hear that slavery still exists," said Grono, explaining how many people assume it ended when the Atlantic slave trade was abolished in the 1800s.5190d9ac1ec12704d7e1734b0eabe54812c4a9964dfbb21011

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28 January 2015

AFP's Bloodiest Encounter in Mindanao

When about 43 Philippine police commandos were killed in an 11-hour firefight with Muslim rebels last 25 January 2015 was reported, it was considered by Interior Minister Manual Roxas as "the single largest loss of life in recent memory by our security forces."

However, this is not the bloodiest and most violent encounter for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in the last four decades. That distinction belonged the massacre of about 119 officers and men of the Philippine Army’s 31st Infantry Battalion that were deployed to Pata island off Jolo on 12 February 1981.

As a result of the loss, both the Navy and Air Force retaliated by shelling the island for almost two months. An estimated several hundreds to 3,000 civilians were reportedly killed.

The incident was recalled in an article by Retired Major General Delfin Castro who served as the Southern Command from 1980 to 1986.

According to the General, the 3rd Brigade of the 1st Infantry Division (ID) had launched an operation in Pata Island on 9 February 1981 in the wake of reported landings of an undetermined number of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) forces somewhere at Barangay Pata Likud.

The 31st Infantry Battalion (IB) was at the forefront while two other battalions were screening the mainland side. The Brigade set up its Advance Command Post in Patian Island, the next island away from Pata.

After the Philippine Army arrives, Mayor Burahan of Pata called a meeting of island leaders in Barangay Saimbangon on 10 February to assess the situation. Among those who attended were Vice-Mayor Ombra Tagid-gid, Omar Ali, Faisal, Issa, Kadaffy, Salahuddin, Moharam and Civilian Home Defense Force (CHDF) Commander Unad Masillam of Pata Likud.

The CHDF was originally conceived to form part of the Philippine Constabulary (PC) as a civilian auxiliary force. Under the current structure of the AFP then, the task of training, organizing, and management of the CHDF would fall under the PC. However, due to various human rights abuses created by the CHDF, the late President Corazon Aquino signed in 1987, executive order no. 275 ordering the demobilization, deactivation, and dissolution of all units of the CHDF.

Barangay leaders denied presence of rebel elements in the in their barangays and assured that no MNLF forces had landed. After the meeting and carful inspection, the 31st IB began to pull out on February 12, leaving only the Headquarters Service Company of the battalion Commander Lt. Col. Jacinto Sardual.

Before the last remnants of the military leaves the island, there was an unsubstantiated reports that reached Commander Unad Masillam alleging that the military is planning to confiscate all their firearms. This prompted the CHDF head to call a meeting at his residence with his trusted aides Omar Ali, Faisal, Issa, Kadaffy, Salahuddin, Moharam and his son Dindiong Masillam.

The first mystery involves the question on how this rumor came about or how the details of the disarmament can be carried out considering that most of the Philippine Army has already left the island. It widely believed that the report was falsified by Commander Unad himself to provoke his auxiliary troops in opposing the PA.

The meeting was going on when Lt. Col. Sardual arrived to pay his respect before leaving with the rest of his troops. Commander Unad and more than 400 of his troops then accompanied Lt. Col Sardual back to his camp as a show of courtesy.

Inside the military camp, Commander Unad asked Lt. Col Sardual if he can form his company up as a formal gesture of farewell. Her also ask the officer to ensure that the military personnel not to hold any firearms to allow his to shake all of their hands.

The second mystery behind this incident is on the reason behind why Lt. Col. Sardual followed Commander Unad’s request when it goes against all norms and tenets of combat common sense. Equally disturbing is why his junior officers in turn passed the questionable order to the enlisted men under their command. Was Lt. Col. Sardual threatened and under duress when he issued a command for his men to join the company formation without their firearms?

While the most of the soldiers stood in formation, their arms neatly stacked, Commander Unad’s men quietly formed a ring around them and let loose searing volleys of automatic fire. With comrades shredded and falling dead or injured, the remaining soldiers who did not join the formation returned fire. Unfortunately, their efforts are not enough and they had to scamper and fall back.

When the smoked cleared and the guns fell silent, 119 officers and men lay lifeless, including that of Lt. Col Sardual. The headquarters service company of 31st IB ceased to exist in a matter of minutes. Some bodies were mutilated and burned, while others were looted for their uniforms, shoes, wallets, watches and other valuables. Over 120 firearms and over a million rounds of assorted ammunition also fell into Commander Unad’s hands.

The Pata massacre was classic execution of one of Misuaris’s stratagems which is for certain MNLF elements to falsely pretend that they are joining the government and at a given opportunity, to sabotage the returnee program from within. However, the military’s response was equally brutal after then President Ferdinand Marcos ordered the Philippine Air Force (PAF) and Philippine Navy (PN) to support the landing of troops with constant barrage of explosive shells.

The result, thousands of civilians were caught in the cross fire, while Commander Unad and his son Dindiong slipped away from the island. They were later given important positions in the military hierarchy of the Nur Misuari’s MNLF faction.

Pata Likud was reported to be still controlled by Commander Dindiong Masillam. There was a heated rivalry between Dindiong and the Burahan family which controls the Poblacion proper of the island. The conflict started when Dindiong decided to challenge the incumbent mayor of Pata during the 1998 elections. Eventually, Dindiong lost to Burahan in the elections.

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27 January 2015

McNaught's Sexy and Fit Post Baby Selfie

Erin McNaught Post-Baby Body
If you have it, you can flaunt it. And that’s what model Erin McNaught did after getting back her figure from delivering a baby.

Based on the bikini photos she posted on her Instagram account, the former Miss Universe Australia has done a lot of work to get her flat stomach.

"(Four) 4 weeks PP [postpartum] and I’m starting to get my stomach back!” the 32-year-old wrote.

"Aside from lots of walking and eating healthily, I’ve been doing loads of pelvic floor and transverse abdominus exercises. Still no traditional ab work though which is driving me crazy! #bodyafterbaby”

As expected, aside from getting praises for a job well done, Mcnaught also received criticism and harsh words from lazy mothers who let their bloat beyond what could be considered appropriate for their height. Logic tells us that only the jealous and insecure overweight people will have a hard time appreciating the work done by Mcnaught.

“If you’re a new mum and this is what’s important to you…you’re doing it wrong #priorities,” gclovin commented on the post. Others exclaimed “wtf,” and some asked, “How the hell is that possible?”

Based on the above comments, it easy to gauge how mental degradation affected McNaught’s haters and cyber-bullies who get upset over anything. If McNaught looked like hell, the same people would be trashing her for that, and the response would be "leave her alone, she just had a baby.”

However, many of these ‘haters’ failed to note one important fact. McNaught is doing pelvic floor and transverse abdominus exercises. Women in Europe are usually seen by specialists shortly after giving birth that teach them these special exercises because they believe that a woman should be given the tools to re-strengthen her body after giving birth.

The session lasts for weeks to make sure the pelvic floor and transverse abdominus muscles are returning to where they need to be. This is done primarily for health, for appearance, and for sexual health.

On the other hand, American women are not provided with aids like this, which is why so many struggle with a 'belly' and grow lazy and fat with flabs saying bye-bye even before their hands moved. All the crunches in the world won't put them back where you were, since those aren't the muscles that bear the brunt of pregnancy.

Bottom line, McNaught looks terrific, and it's her job to look that way, and anybody who says otherwise need to look in the mirror and squeeze those bellies for support.

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26 January 2015

New Home Test for Colon Cancer

Cologuard
Last 27 October 2014, millions of people who have avoided colon cancer screening will be able to get a new home test that's noninvasive and doesn't require the icky preparation most other methods do.

The test is supposed to give the person his first look at the effectiveness of using cancer-related DNA in stool. It could greatly boost screening for a deadly disease that too few people get checked for now. However, some believed it could lure people away from colonoscopies and other tests that, unlike the new one, have been shown to save lives.

But it might be able to do both.

"It looks promising," but its impact on cancer risk and survival isn't known, said Dr. Barnett Kramer, a National Cancer Institute screening expert.

David Smith, 67, a retired teacher from Northfield, Minnesota, shows the test's potential. He has never been screened for colon cancer and his doctor ran through the options, including a barium enema or a scope exam.

"He pulled out one of those really colorful brochures they have for all those procedures," Smith said, but he had suffered an infection from a prostate biopsy years ago and didn't want another invasive test. When the doctor mentioned the new DNA test, "I said, well, sign me up."

The test was approved by the Food and Drug Administration last month and will be offered by prescription at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, where it was developed, and soon nationwide. It's called Cologuard and is sold by Exact Sciences Corp. of Madison, Wisconsin. Mayo Clinic and one of its doctors get royalties from the test.

Here are some things many aew still not aware of:

How it works

Many current stool tests look for blood that could suggest a tumor. Cologuard does this plus detects DNA that could be a sign of cancer or precancerous growths called polyps. People send a stool sample to a lab where it is tested.

If the test is positive, the next step is a diagnostic colonoscopy. A thin tube with a tiny camera is passed through the large intestine and growths can be removed and checked for cancer. When this is done for screening and precancerous polyps are removed, it can prevent cancer, not just detect it. It requires drinking laxatives the day before to clean out the bowel.

A sigmoidoscopy is a similar scope exam but only looks at the lower portion of the bowel and does not require full sedation.

Not yet endorsed

The best measure of a screening test's worth is whether it lowers the risk of death from a disease, and it's too soon to know whether Cologuard will. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, which sets widely followed screening advice, has not yet considered it.

For healthy adults age 50 to 75 at average risk for colon cancer, the task force backs three methods: annual stool blood tests, a sigmoidoscopy every five years plus stool tests every three years, or a colonoscopy once a decade.

Accuracy

Cologuard was not directly tested against colonoscopy for screening but now is being marketed as an alternative. A large study compared Cologuard to one of the older stool blood tests and found it detected 92 percent of colorectal cancers and 42 percent of advanced precancerous growths compared to 74 percent of cancers and 24 percent of growths for the older test.

"Colonoscopy is the gold standard," but the new test "is pretty darn good" at detecting cancer, though it misses more pre-cancers than previous studies of colonoscopy show, said Dr. Harold 'Hal' Sox, a Dartmouth professor who formerly headed the preventive services task force.

Cologuard also had a downside — more false alarms. It correctly ruled out colon cancer only 87 percent of the time versus 95 percent for the older test.

"One could look at it and say that's a glass half empty, half full," Kramer said. It leads 13 percent to have follow-up colonoscopies they really didn't need — because they didn't have cancer. Yet if the alternative is to screen everyone with a colonoscopy in the first place, Cologuard could avoid 87 percent of them.

Cost

Cologuard costs US$ 599 versus about US$ 25 for current stool blood tests, and "you don't know whether you need to take it every year — intervals have not been tested," Kramer said.

If you have the DNA test every three years, it would be US$ 1,800 — about the cost of a colonoscopy, which is good for 10 years unless polyps are found, he said.

Medicare covers the new test but private insurers aren't covering it yet.

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23 January 2015

LGBT's Unreasonable Demand from SB 3133

Straight Marriage Only
One of the more controversial laws in the Philippines is Republic Act 9048 or the law that regulates the change of clerical errors entered in civil registry papers.

Under the law, clerical or typographical error or change of first name in the birth certificate of a person can now be done administratively by the local Civil Registrar or by the Consul General without the need of a judicial order. Hence, it was supposed to address the tedious and costly procedure in correcting typographical or clerical errors in an entry in the Civil Registry.

However, there are still some problems encountered when it comes to corrections the change in sex, age, nationality and status of a person.

Senate Bill 3133 filed by Senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Francis "Chiz" Escudero seeks to amend the law and make it more convenient than what it already is for individuals to correct errors in spelling, dates of birth and gender without having to go through costly court proceedings.

The problem is that members of the ‘loud minority’ want, as usual, to make a mountain out of mole hill by attacking one of the bill’s provisions. Members of the lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender (LGBTs) want to remove one item of SB 3133 because, as they claim, it will make it more difficult for transgendered persons to legally change their genders.

Section 3 of the SB 3133 states: “Nor shall any entry involving change of gender corrected except if the petition is accompanied by a certification issued by an accredited government physician attesting to the fact that the petitioner has not undergone sex change or sex transplant.”

In essence, the bill wants to grant the medical establishment and the civil registry bureaucracy the function to determine if transgenders applying for a gender change has really undergone ‘sex change’ or ‘sex transplant.’

What’s wrong with that? Nobody should be allowed to just change their gender just because one day they woke up and decided that they want to be male or female. Is that what this ‘loud’ group wants to do? Without any medical proof or was not even tested, anybody can just clam that they want to have their gender changed?

Whoever thought that unsupervised and unregulated gender change is something that society will accept must be out of their mind. They can also shove their self-serving Yogyakarta Principle No. 19 up theirs because the government do not recognized anything of the fairy tale provisions from a flimsy a paper as a valid, legal and rationally binding commitment.

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